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grief in Egypt had expired, he sent a message to Pharaoh ; --for in his mourning habiliments he could not, according to their usages, present himself before the monarch--stating his father's request and his oath, and asking an interval in which to perform his duty of the burial in Canaan. Not only was it readily granted, but also a large concourse of the “servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,” prepared to bear him company, and assist in the ceremonies. The Israelitish families, except the children, of course made a part of the procession, which was further rendered imposing by the chariots and horsemen, the whole forming “a very great company." Thus they moved on, a long train attracting attention everywhere along the plains of Egypt; then they crossed the intervening sands; and finally they reached the borders of Canaan. The threshing-floor of Atad was by their way, after reaching the latter country; and here they paused for seven days to express their grief among these people, and “mourn with a great and very sore lamentation ;" the place had the name afterward of Abel-mizrain, “ the mourning of the Egyptians," so much did the concourse of servants and nobles and elders of Pharaoh's palace make the whole scene appear to be Egyptian.
We have comparatively little afterward respecting Joseph, in this strange, eventful history. We know that he returned to Egypt and lived there, “he and his father's house;" that he survived his father fifty-four years, and died aged one hundred and ten, after having seen “ Ephraim's children of the third generation.” When he was about to die he said to his kinsmen, “God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob;" and he took an oath of them, “God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” His body was embalmed and placed in a coffin in the usual Egyptian manner;—and afterward, through long years of suffering among the Israelites,—when rulers arose “who knew not Joseph," and the enslaved descendants of those whom he had brought to this land were groaning in most bitter bondage,—they still thought with hope of this coffin, keeping a careful record of its place of deposit; and solaced themselves with the expression of the deceased great man, that the time was surely coming when, God visiting them, they were to bear that body to their nation's promised home in Canaan. It got at last to be their only earthly hope.
1 Our version of the Scriptures says, “which is beyond Jordan," seeming to convey the idea that this was on the east of that river; but in 1 Kings iv. 24, the same Hebrew expression is twice translated, “on this side the river," which the connection there shows indeed to be the true meaning, A journey, in this case, to any spot east of Jordan, would have been a very circuitous one.
FROM JOSEPH TO MOSES.
W E have now before us a long period of obscurity re
W specting the Israelites, in which we catch only glimpses of them, but those glimpses extremely interesting, inasmuch as the subject ends in that great disruption from Egypt, the Exodus. The monuments: afford us the means of knowing much of the Egyptian history of that period ; and as there is, of course, a parallelism between Egyptian events and those among the Hebrew race, we turn to the former to ask
1 The reader will not be misled by the word. It means temples, halle, &c., &c.--monuments of antiquity.
HORUS I. (Har. Ra-usr-kheper. u.) The superstitious Pharaoh, thought to be the one
" which knew not Joseph."
what enlightenment they can give us respecting the Israelites during those times? In questioning them, however, we must be careful to remember that these records were made by the monarchs themselves, each for his own reign; and that as they were designed to glorify that reign, or the country, we need not expect to find there anything of a disastrous kind to either; also we may have occasion sometimes to form our conclusions more from strange deficiencies in these public records, than from what is actually given. Bearing this in our mind, we shall perhaps find on the monuments very striking elucidations of this obscure, because brief, portion of the Scripture history.
The first monarch after Joseph's death appears to have been Horus I., the proofs of which we here append in a footnote, in order not to interrupt the course of our narrative.' He was just the kind of person concerning whom a faithful historical record would be apt to say, “Now there arose up a new king which knew not Joseph ;" by which doubtless we are to understand, not one who was ignorant of Joseph's great
1 Chronology is one of the most difficult, and is often the most unsatisfactory, of all subjects coming under the notice of a historian. It is also a dry topic to the reader, but we must enter upon it if we wish to study these elucidations from the monuments.
We are brought first to an examination of the interval between the coming of Jacob into Egypt and the period of the Exodus. In Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, ch. iii. 16, 17, the time between the former and the giving of the Law is stated at 430 years. Josephus (Antiq. ii. 15, % 2), gives the Exodus as “ 430 years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but 215 years only after Jacob removed into Egypt.” In Antiq. viji, 3, 1, he makes the interval nearly the same, 428 years: in Antiq. ii. 9, 1, he gives it as 400 years. In Ex. xii. 40, as read in our Hebrew Bible, it is stated, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years;" but the Septuagint gives the same passage thus: “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel which they sojourned in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four hundred and thirty years :" 'H di karóinous twv otwy Ισραήλ ήν κατωκησαν εν γή Αιγύπτω και εν γή Χανααν, έτη τετρακόσιαν τριάκοντα. The Samaritan Pentateuch, which must have belonged to a period earlier
services to the nation, but who wished to make no recognition of them; and under the pressure of present fear and selfish prejudice, desired as much as possible to bury them in oblivion. Bunsen, drawing the character of Horus from the monuments, describes him as “a superstitious sovereign,
than 975 B. C. (the date of the revolt of the ten tribes), gives this passage exactly in the same manner as the Septuagint. In Gen. xv. 13, the time of servitude is set down at 400 years; but this may perhaps be considered as the whole time of being “strangers," and thus under the control of others in the strange lands. The other passages bearing on this subject, Ex. vi. 16-19 and Num. xxv. 57-59, are of uncertain meaning, inasmuch as we do not know the estimate for a generation ; but they seem to incline to the estimate of 215 years between Jacob's coming into Egypt and the Exodus.
After weighing this evidence, we take the last record given in the Scriptures, that of St. Paul, with which the other evidence coincides, or may be explained so as to agree, and estimate the time between Abraham's coming into Egypt and the Exodus at 430 years. We have, then, after Abraham's 80 coming, an interval to the birth of Isaac 25 years; then to the birth of Jacob 60 years; and 130 years to the immigration of the latter; making in all 215 years; and leaving 215 from that immigration to the Exodus. Joseph died æt. 110 years ; 71 after the immigration, and 144 before the Exodus.
We will now connect these dates with those of the Egyptian kings; and inquire whether from both we may not be able to ascertain who were on the throne at the times of Scriptural events ? For we know that the distinctive character of these Pharaohs must have had important influence on such events. In making out the lists and dates of sovereigns who ruled over that country, Egyptologists have been guided-I. By “the Tablet at Abydos" (discovered in 1818 and carefully copied-it has since been defaced), on which had been cut a series of monarchs, 26 in number, who are represented seated under their cartouches; II. By a tablet at Karnak containing a series of 61 kings disposed in four lines around the walls: III. By the Lists of Manetho, as we have them preserved by Josephus and other ancient writers. Bunsen considers the tablet at Abydos as “the surest test of every attempt to restore the dynasties,” which we are now considering. From this and a comparison with other monuments and sources of information, he has constructed a list of sovereigns and the time of reign to each, which appears as if it might be safely taken as authority. The following will show us the result, to which also is attached part of the list from Manetho, as quoted by Josephus, beginning after the expulsion of the Shepherd-kings: